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Shipping & Logistics

Nakuru hotel uses tech to solve parking woes

Vehicles at a parking
Vehicles at a parking lot in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

As the population of urban centres grows rapidly, one of the biggest concern for town and city planners is how to a deal with transport and logistics so that the smooth flow of operations is not compromised.

In a city such as Nairobi, heavy traffic is the order of the day. Also getting parking space in the capital city and other major urban centres is already proving to be a nightmare for motorists, creating a logistics nightmare for businesses.

How then can this situation be addressed? A hotel in Nakuru is taking the lead in showing how technology can be used to solve the problem of lack of parking space.

Taidys hotel has installed an automated parking system, which not only preserves space but ensures that guests’ cars are safe.

General Manager Sylvester Muli said the hotel was compelled to be innovative because it occupies a small space within the Central Business District.

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“Most customers ask for secure parking space when they do bookings for our suites. Despite ours being very safe it is also private. Customers love their privacy, and this makes it our main selling point as we stand out from the rest,” Mr Muli told Shipping and Logistics.

An automated parking system (APS), which Taidys uses, is a system designed to minimise the space required for parking cars.

Like a multi-story parking garage, the system provides parking for cars on multiple levels stacked vertically to maximise the number of parking spaces while minimising land usage.

“One of the most pressing problems in the current urban environment is parking. Not only do traditional parking lots and garages take valuable real estate that could be used for other purposes, but they also present public safety and environmental concerns,” he adds.

At Taidys, when a car is at the APS entry point after all the passengers have disembarked, the lead operator presses a control button, then the vehicle is automatically lifted to the secure parking slot.

Once the driver is ready to leave, the APS retrieves the car after using an automated system to identify the vehicle. After the vehicle is returned to the transfer area, it is automatically rotated to face the exit saving the customer the hustle of reversing.

“Not only does an automated parking system drastically reduce the risk of accidents while parking, but because the garage is closed to people, there is a much lower risk of assaults or robberies associated with a traditional parking lot or garage,” said Mr Muli.

Taidys APS parking has twenty four slots.

Isaac Maina, the lead operator, said the main challenge is that the sensors are very sensitive and any small mistake can stall the whole system.

“Something like dust on the sensors can jam the whole system. We have to service it after every two weeks. I studied civil engineering which is a technical skill required to operate this kind of parking system. Because it’s new to the residents of Nakuru, it has put our restaurant on the map,” said Mr Maina.

The materials used to make the parking system, Mr Muli revealed were imported from china. Hytone Yongyuan parking system supplied the controlling machine.

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